African Renaissance Festival 15-16 August 2019



News Feeds


African Renaissance News

Back to overview


A Musical Celebration

The African Renaissance Concert on the 26th of May at the Durban ICC Arena at 6.30 pm is a highlight event of the festival programme and will pay a musical tribute to the Festival's twenty-year legacy.

This year the vibrant mix of artists are musical legend Vusi Mahlasela, hit maker Dj Maphorisa, gqom diva Tipcee, urban music princess Moonchild, maskandi collaborative Qadasi and Maqhinga, the RudeBoyz and the glorious voices of the Durban Gospel Choir.

Vusi Mahlasela
Mahlasela, often dubbed as "The voice" of South Africa, grew up in Mamelodi township, outside of Pretoria, South Africa, where he still resides.

In 1976, Vusi's political education began when he witnessed the massacre of more than 200 black South Africans in the Soweto uprising. Mahlasela responded through his music, inspiring other musicians and listeners around him.

He has performed on many international platforms, sharing the stage with the Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Josh Groban, Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Angelique Kidjo, Bela Fleck, Ray LaMontagne, Amos Lee and many more.

In 2012, then South African president Jacob Zuma awarded Mahlasela the Order of Ikhamanga, an award for South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of art, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. He is to be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the University of KwaZulu-Natal for his contribution to society through his music at its spring graduation ceremony in September 2018.

DJ Maphorisa
DJ Maphorisa is a multitalented performer and producer who was born and bred in Soshanguve, Pretoria and started his career from an early age. The release of the charttopping single "Y-Tjukutja" in 2013 - which was undoubtedly the biggest song in South Africa that year - catapulted his career into the entertainment industry.

DJ Maphorisa's infectious and unique African sound has seen him perform across the world.

Moonchild Sanelly
Moonchild Sanelly is a name that is fast growing on the South African music scene. Describing herself as a future ghetto punk musician she has a pulsating energy and unique style. Originally from Port Elizabeth and now based in Johannesburg, Moonchild Sanelly flourished in the underground before rising to the mainstream.

At the end of 2017, she led the biggest track of the summer with an unforgettable verse 'please call future maybe...' The smash hit was produced by DJ Maphorisa & DJ Tira featuring fellow female artist Busiswa.

Born Precious Ndaba in Umlazi, Tipcee is an entertainer whose musical talent was visible at a very young age.

Tipcee has been featured in songs with South African prominent artists such as Distruction Boyz on "Madness". This song has cemented her brand amongst music lovers and has proved that she is not a "fly
by night" as her voice ruled the December festivities of 2017.

The young star has had the privilege of performing on big events such as Fact Durban Rocks, Eyadini and at the Redbull Culture Clash to name but a few. Her rise has also seen her tour outside the country to Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland.

Qadasi and Maqhinga
Hailing from Empangeni in the heart of Zululand, Qadasi and Maqhinga are an acoustic duo on a quest to revive the powerful sounds of traditional Maskandi music.

David Jenkins, known as Qadasi, is an accomplished Maskandi guitarist, concertina and banjo player who developed a passion for Zulu culture and music at a young age.

Maqhinga Radebe began his career as a Maskandi musician in the mid-80s. He has performed to audiences in several countries, sharing stages with top artists such as Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Phuzekhemisi and Soul Brothers.

Qadasi and Maqhinga have travelled home and abroad, taking their eclectic fusion to audiences in the UK, Europe, Asia, and throughout South Africa. Their debut collaborative album, Lashis' Ilanga, was recently nominated for a 2017 SATMA Award for Best Male Group.

Durban gqom originators are the Rudeboyz - Masive Q and Andile-T, from Mount Moria, on the outskirts of KwaMashu. "We used broken beats and took them further," says Masive, "We added energy and hypnotic
sounds, until we'd invented a new sound."

"We gave our music to everyone we met," says Andile, "we would carry it around on USB and CD and after a while everywhere we went they were playing our songs - in taxis, buses and shops."

Rudeboyz have been behind hits like OKMalumKoolKat's Gqi, Midnight Starring by DJ Maphorisa with DJ Tira, Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly; and Sesi On by Dbn Nyts featuring Busiswa. They have their own hit songs like Mercedes Song (featuring TD Snax), the hypnotic Get Down, Yebo and Gqom Originators.

Durban Gospel Choir
The Durban Gospel Choir and its umbrella body, Raise Your Voice, is under the leadership of creative director and singer Karen van Pletsen.

She is committed to providing opportunities for young singers, composers and producers to create and produce new works as well as honour the musical legacy of icons past. Says Van Pletsen, "Music is a celebration of what unites us - of our shared humanity and hopes for the future."

Recent recordings include KOMO (Keep On Moving On) and Lalela Abazali, which sees the Durban Gospel Choir collaborate with the RudeBoyz.


Back to overview